Northern Education Trust is immensely proud to announce that North Shore Academy has been judged by Ofsted to be an Outstanding school in all categories, following its inspection on 7 and 8 July 2021. Previously rated Requires Improvement, the academy has undergone rapid transformation thanks to the relentless determination of senior leaders in the school and the Trust, and the support of governors.
Inspectors were hugely impressed with the quality of education delivered, the behaviour and attitudes of students and their development, and the leadership and management of the academy. They noted that students are exceptionally proud to attend the school. Relationships between them and their teachers are highly respectful and very caring, with students believing that teachers help them to do their best. Students told inspectors that the teachers “make them feel good about themselves” and that they feel cared for by staff.
Rob Tarn, Chief Executive of Northern Education Trust, added: “I am very, very proud of what we have achieved for our students at North Shore Academy. For any school to rise from Requires Improvement straight to Outstanding is a phenomenal achievement, and extremely rare; and is even more noteworthy given that the academy is located in one of the most deprived areas in the country. Research has shown that educational disadvantage is most highly correlated with whether a student is eligible for free school meals – around 65% of North Shore Academy students attract pupil premium (the average for the North East of England is 27.5%).
“Since the introduction of the new Education Inspection Framework (EIF), 277 section 5 inspections of secondary schools have taken place, with only 11 being rated Outstanding. None of these schools were located in an area of such high deprivation as North Shore Academy.
“The work required to improve a school to this level this should not be underestimated, and is testimony to the rigorous school improvement model we now have in place for all academies within the Trust. I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised the extent to which we are striving to improve the life chances of our magnificent students, and my heartfelt thanks go to our students, their families, staff, Trustees and governors for their support”.
The academy’s journey to success has involved implementing all the Trust’s improvement strategies including establishing and consolidating a strong and dedicated leadership team, a robust level of governance and improved teaching and learning, to provide every student, regardless of background, ability or need, with the best education possible.
Inspectors recognised this, commenting that: “Students are confident in lessons, they believe they can succeed, and they do succeed”. Inspectors noted the buzz in the academy about reading, due to both the teachers’ enthusiasm about how much students enjoyed reading, and the students’ own inspiration gained from the many initiatives the academy employs, such as visiting speakers (athletes, poets, journalists), ‘The Masked Reader’ and Reading Routes. Parents comments echoed the pride and passion staff feel about the academy, telling inspectors about their delight at the ‘amazing work of the school’.
Inspectors also stated: “Students’ behaviour in lessons and at social times is exemplary. In the social space (known as the ‘heart space’) there is a calm, friendly atmosphere, where students enjoy talking about what they are learning with teachers”. Students told inspectors that they enjoy these conversations, with inspectors noting that teachers regularly talk about important issues during social time, as well as in tutor groups and assemblies, in order to foster a well-developed understanding of modern Britain, and encourage the high levels of respect students have for each other and their community.
Andrew Murphy, Principal of North Shore Academy, said: “We are over the moon that Ofsted have recognised the incredible hard work that has been done to improve our school. The Trust and senior leaders at the academy have been on a mission to achieve our ambitions to provide a superb education for our wonderful students, which we have achieved with the support of our phenomenal, dedicated staff, the parents and carers of our students and our trustees and governors. My sincere thanks go to everyone who has supported us through this journey, and I hope both the school and local community join us in celebrating this magnificent achievement”.
The report can be viewed on the Ofsted website.